How to maintain your brand culture
- 27 October 2016
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A coherent brand culture is not only a key contributor to any powerful, successful brand – it can also be the glue that holds an organisation together. So how can you maintain and nurture it?
People are the fabric of your organisation. They create it, live it and promote it – and it’s this culture that allows effective marketing to spring up. Yet people move on and brand identity evolves. Ensuring that the brand culture continues despite their departure is key to ensuring consistency and success.
So how can you maintain consistency in a brand culture and keep it on track, ensuring a positive evolution?
Making the brand culture an identity in itself is one approach. Most people are aware of Google’s legendary internal culture, though they’ve probably never visited or worked there. Putting a brand culture on show ensures it is recognisable to employees and customers alike, and means it takes on a greater form than just the people involved – which is important when key people have moved on.
Don’t limit the brand culture to the heads and – hopefully – hearts of your existing employees. Get it down and express it in words. Sharing your brand’s values and ethos can take place on all platforms, from a short essay on LinkedIn to a series of sincere tweets on Twitter. Mounting key value statements involved in your brand and incorporating them in artwork around the office, or designing your office to fit your brand values – open plan to encourage communication, for example – adds a physicality to this.
The goal? That incoming employees know what to expect from the brand culture and how to work within it, without even meeting the founders. If the information is out there, it can also help to attract the right applicants – with potential employees already able to judge whether they will fit in with the culture of the organisation.
Get people talking
Putting your brand culture in the open is helpful to ensure recognition, but face-to-face communication is unbeatable for ensuring coherency and consistency.
Think about seating plans in the office – sitting newbies next to old hands – and at social events. It’s a good way to encourage shuffling around and socialising across the organisation. Ideally, new additions to the workforce will quickly pick up the brand culture, feel involved and ultimately start to communicate it and live it themselves. A day on the Twitter handle or a half-day of switching departments can also encourage this.
Don’t underestimate the opportunity that an old colleague’s leaving do represents – it can be an ideal demonstration of brand culture to a new colleague.
Make it explicit
A session to explicitly talk about the brand culture and its specifics for your company can easily slot into an induction week for new employees. For outgoing staff, a session for final feedback or comments on the culture can be helpful to feed back into the organisation.
Scheduling interesting talks or events relevant to a key brand culture theme is another idea. If sustainability is a brand value, then invite local students, activists or writers in to give a small talk and join a drinks reception. If the brand is highly visual and encourages individuality, host a small art competition for your employees.
Help to shape it
People move, times change and brands evolve. All this means that even a consistent and strong culture will eventually change over time. Taking ownership of this process means that you can guide it in the best way for your organisation.
Hosting a ‘brand culture AGM’ event or providing a platform for anonymous submissions for workplace improvements can keep people involved. Hosting a ‘PechaKucha’ presentation evening – where people speak quickly about what the brand and company means to them, what they’ve learned there and what they want to see more of – is a quick and fun way to allow agency over brand culture change.
If you'd like to learn more about the ideas, customs and social behaviour of a branded organisation, then check out our Brand Masterclass course.Back to all
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